Monday, October 04, 2004

Dodging Controversy: Canadians have nixed plans to build a bronze monument honoring American draft dodgers of the Vietnam War. Apparently when the plans for the monument were announced, angry Americans threatened to boycott Nelson, British Columbia, where the memorial was to be erected.

That's a shame. I wouldn't mind seeing something dedicated to draft dodgers. They're not nearly as brave as the veterans who risked their lives in battle. But they do represent an American spirit of demonstration and dissent that is crucial to our society.

The era surrounding the Vietnam War was a difficult time for all Americans. Although we had good intentions of containing communism and supporting democracy, the war eventually became a mismanaged quagmire, and thousands of Americans died as a result. While some people still can find positives from our involvement, the idea of the war is widely considered a mistake.

Draft dodgers like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush helped end a misguided war by refusing to fight. They saved other men's lives as a result. And for that, they should be honored.


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